The following is a summary of the key measures that were implemented by the Central Bank to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which address monetary policy and financial stability issues:
- Reduction of the Repo Rate by 150 bps from 5.00% to 3.50% on March17, 2020. As a result, the median basic prime lending rate fell from 9.25% to 7.50% at the end of March 2020.
- The Reserve Requirement Ratio for commercial banks was reduced from 17% to 14% in March 2020. Consequentially, average daily excess liquidity increased from $4.0bn (January 2 - March 17, 2020) to $8.3bn (May 2020).
- The Central Bank relaxed its regulatory treatment for restructured loans due to deferred payments or rate reductions and past due facilities for a period of up to 6 months.
- The Financial Institutions (Capital Adequacy) Regulations 2020 for the implementation of Basel II/ III was promulgated with effect from May 14, 2020.
- The Central Bank granted licensees and financial holding companies extension of timelines and allowed for the electronic submission of regulatory returns.
- To meet AML/CFT Identification and Verification Requirements the Central Bank asked financial institutions to consider several measures for acceptance of electronic or digital identification where a person’s identity cannot immediately be verified face-to-face during the COVID-19 period.
- Adjustment to the requirement for the Submission of Personal Questionnaire Declaration (PQD) Applications in light of social distancing measures.
Click on the links below for more information on these highlighted measures.